Gujarat introduces new tourism policy to augment tourism

Published on : Thursday, December 10, 2015

GujaratThe Indian state of Gujarat government has introduced a host of incentives to woo investors under its new tourism policy, which will help the state emerge as a “vibrant tourist destination” focusing on eco tourism, water sports, wayside amenities, etc..


“The new tourism policy will position Gujarat as a vibrant tourist destination with an emphasis on improving visitor experience, livelihood linkages, environmental concerns and enhancing investment opportunities.


“Thus, catapulting tourism as one of the most important economic drivers, leading to sustainable development and inclusive growth in the state,” Gujarat Tourism Minister Saurabhbhai Patel told reporters here.


Under the new policy, the government will provide investment opportunities in projects in eco tourism, beach tourism and water sports, heritage tourism, international Buddhist circuit, wayside amenities and cafeteria, cleanliness projects and greenfield properties for development.


Gujarat Tourism is planning to encourage public private partnerships in many projects and also taking initiatives like Special Tourist Police and annual recognition through Excellence Awards in Tourism industry.


The new tourism policy provides many incentives and concessions such as capital subsidy, interest subsidy, stamp duty concession, exemption from luxury tax, entertainment tax, electricity duty, as also special package for mega tourism units among others.


“In 2014-15, the total tourist arrivals was 326.91 lakhs, which was 13.5 per cent higher than the previous year. Ahmedabad, Ambaji, Dwarka, Surat and Vadodara continue to remain top-draw destinations. These five destinations account for over 41 per cent of gross tourist flow to Gujarat,” Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Tourism Commissioner and Managing Director N Srivastava said.


He said festivals like Navratri, Rann-Utsav and International Kite Festival have put the state on the world tourism map.


He added “The state government’s focus on tourism can be gauged from the fact that the tourism budget has ballooned exponentially from Rs 100 crore in 2006, to over Rs 500 crore,” he added.


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